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Dean of Libraries accepts position at University of Alabama-Birmingham
April 29, 2014Tweet
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Donald Nieman announced today that he has accepted the resignation of Dean of Libraries John Meador, who has accepted a position as inaugural dean of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Libraries, beginning Aug. 5, 2014.
“John has been offered an exceptional opportunity to seamlessly merge two major libraries at the University of Alabama at Birmingham,” said Nieman. “UAB is a research intensive institution of over 18,000 students with a medical school, and John’s experience will serve him well as he takes on this new challenge.”
“It’s a unique opportunity,” said Meador. “I’m going to oversee the merger of two libraries, one medical and one academic. I don’t think medical and academic libraries have ever been merged before and the focus will be on creating a true library of the 21st century.”
Meador will provide leadership as the Mervyn H. Sterne Library and the Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences combine resources. Together, the libraries have more than 2 million volumes with over 500,000 titles.
UAB is the largest single-site employer in Alabama, with an economic impact exceeding $5 billion annually in the state. It currently ranks 31st nationally in federal research funding. “This is an opportunity for me to bring all of my experience to bear on creating something new that will serve UAB in the 21st century. I couldn’t pass that up,” Meador said.
Under Meador’s leadership, the Binghamton University Libraries have achieved international recognition while keeping users in mind. The addition of Information Commons, use of next-generation search engines, expansion of interlibrary loan operations and global collaborations in digital preservation have provided additional value while maximizing available resources. “We are a name people recognize in the library field around the world, so I feel very good about that,” Meador said.
“John will be sorely missed,” said Nieman. “He has placed Binghamton University at the forefront of the digital revolution that has remade academic libraries, recruited outstanding library faculty and staff, and served our faculty and students exceptionally well. We all wish him the best in his new endeavor.”
Meador is very proud of what has been achieved during his tenure at Binghamton, especially the people he’s hired and the international reputation that has been established. “I am leaving the Libraries in good hands with very participatory and team-based operations,” he said. “I’m leaving it better off than when I arrived and that’s all you can do. The next person can build on it.”
“I’m excited for myself and for the people here at Binghamton,” said Meador. “This brings some new opportunities and it’s a win-win for everybody. Seizing opportunities and starting afresh every so often keeps you young. I hate in many ways to leave but it’s best for the organization and for me professionally.”
Nieman said he will appoint an interim dean of the libraries for the 2014-15 academic year, and will conduct a national search for Meador’s replacement.